Until now, the People's Republic of China has not been a hotbed of asset-backed issuance. Unlike its neighbors Japan and South Korea, where the number of real or quasi-securitizations has skyrocketed over the past year, ABS remains a new concept for Chinese issuers, and poses a daunting challenge for bankers trying to execute deals there.

Only a few deals have been executed in China so far, all of them privately placed. Last September, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. (Cosco) issued its second securitization, a $300 million future shipping receivables-backed transaction arranged by Chase Manhattan Asia, which had spent nearly two years in the pipeline. In addition, ABN Amro has been working on a handful of deals involving China-originated export trade receivables, which are reportedly destined for the bank's commercial paper conduits.

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